Buncombe County Justice Services is excited to announce Paulina Mendez will join the organization as the new Family Justice Division Manager. Taking over the helm at the Family Justice Center (FJC), she will continue the collaborative work with our partners to integrate community resources to provide high quality, trauma-informed services to victims of domestic and sexual violence. “I have witnessed Paulina’s ability to lead with compassionate communication and coordination centered in equity, consensus building, and group-driven solutions,” notes Justice Services Director Tiffany Iheanacho. “Her understanding of systems of oppression and the complex societal issues that lead to domestic and sexual violence and elder abuse will make her a true asset to continuing the successful work of the Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (CCR).”
The Family Justice Center collaborative co-locates victim advocacy, legal aid, medical services, child care, child protection, elder protection, prosecution, and law enforcement into one safe location for victims of domestic violence, child maltreatment, sexual assault, and elder abuse. In her role as Family Justice Division Manager, Paulina will provide professional consultation along with logistical and staff support to the CCR Leadership Council and FJC teams. Additionally, she will coordinate the planning and implementation of CCR initiatives and activities while identifying potential new programming to meet system gaps and new funding sources
Collaboration with key partners is just one crucial aspect of the Division Manager. “We are excited that Paulina will assume this role, bringing with her years of work in Buncombe County to advocate for historically marginalized communities,” notes Helpmate Executive Director April Burgess-Johnson. “She will provide steady and reliable leadership with a strong focus on equity and inclusion.”
Paulina comes to Buncombe County from the City of Asheville’s Office of Equity and Inclusion and has worked previously for Buncombe County in Community Engagement and Strategic Partnerships. “I am humbled by the opportunity to walk alongside the Family Justice Center's partners to build communities free of domestic and sexual violence,” says Paulina. “Centering the voices of survivors is an utmost priority for me, and I'm excited to get started.”
Her first day is March 22, please welcome Paulina back to Buncombe County.
Paulina Mendez, she/her/ella, is a Mexican native, and longtime resident of the mountains of North Carolina. She is a graduate of UNC Asheville where she studied Political Science and is currently pursuing her Masters in Social Work at Western Carolina University. Paulina’s most recent position was with the City of Asheville, where she served as Training Consultant for the Office of Equity and Inclusion. In her role as the Training Consultant, she conducted equity and inclusion trainings for City of Asheville staff, as well as board and commission members and coordinated interdepartmental action teams to implement the city-wide Equity Action Plan. Paulina also served as an Equity Partner to various departments at the city including AFD, CAPE, HR, IT, Public Works, and Transportation. She has a passion for equity and inclusion work, and would like to see the people understand and truly embrace the necessity for collective liberation which would result in equitable and inclusive policies, practices, and systems that benefit the entire community.
The Family Justice Center (FJC) is a safe place where victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and elder abuse can come for help. At the FJC survivors can access many different services in one location and begin their journey toward hope, healing, and safety. If you, or someone you know needs help, call (828) 250-6900 to schedule an appointment.